- Obama’s secret struggle to punish Russia for Putin’s election assault (not "collude"; the exact word used is "punish", yet the Orangado can predictably go from denying Russian meddling to blaming Obama for it so fast we get whiplash)
- But as long as Putin denies it, it's just fine. It got him elected, so why not let it happen again?
- Amy Suskind started a Weekly List of this administration's more authoritarian turns "so you’ll remember." Here's her list.
- The Senate health-care bill: worse than the House’s. How much worse and ripple effects on all but the richest 400 Americans - yes, you read that right! - at the next link.
- GOP Medicaid cuts hurt much more than health care. The richest 400 Americans will each get, on average, a $13 million tax break, the bulk of which is paid for by shredding Medicaid. But Medicaid is vastly undervalued; the ripple effects of taking it from our people and economy are nearly endless.
- Democrats will keep losing, unless they do this (*ahem*, may I add, and unless they also do this).
- Who can stop Russian meddling in our elections? Only Congress *author busy not holding breath*
- Amazon now offers reduced fee Prime membership - $5.99 per month for low income earners. "Normal" Prime membership is $99, which in theory would be $8.25 per month, but only if you paid $99 at sign-up to lock in the price, so many people actually pay what I did before "cheaper Prime" came along - $10.99 per month/$131.88 per year - the usual $99 plus a $32.88 Poor People's Poverty Tax.
- Also check out four more ways to get Prime on the cheap.
- Amazon ended unlimited cloud storage pretty much the same week I had to jump cloud storage services...*grinds teeth into dust*
- For cord-cutting Prime members now there's Amazon TV (pick your poison. Yay?).
- From the email I got, as Amazon has no explainer and Google has nothing indexed: "Now’s the perfect time to take advantage of a game-changing Prime exclusive benefit—Amazon Channels, the first truly a la carte TV service. You can create a lineup you love from over 100 channels, and only pay for the ones you want—no cable required. You get a 7-day free trial of all of our channels, and you can watch anywhere and cancel anytime."
- About the above - I haven't signed up and will probably be unable to. I also don't know anyone who's signed up. Comcast controls most of the fiber in my area and with them it's cheaper to pay for a TV and Internet package (called the "Double Play") than to just have Internet, so that's mostly what's been stopping me. Will take reviews, though (preferably from people I already know)!
- The search for Goldilocks, indeed. The author says the latest version of Firefox (54) has e10s (multi-process/multi-threaded like Chrome but a max four processes), but it does not have this. I'm using it on an x64 machine with two processors/8GB of RAM, so I can definitively say it has no e10s.
- Before posting, I found an updated article which says (emphasis mine): "Electrolysis still isn’t on for all users. “Roughly half of Firefox’s user population is using multiple content processes, but Mozilla will be expanding the number over the next few months based on extension compatibility, accessibility support work and other factors,” a Mozilla spokesperson told VentureBeat. To check if you’re in the Electrolysis group, type “about:support” into the URL bar and check to see if it says “1/1 (Enabled by default)” under the Multiprocess Windows line item."
- While I'm on the topic of Mozilla doing what Mozilla does, and as I made solarbird aware of, standard Firefox add-ons are on their way out, ostensibly to make room for the e10s that they claim exist which for many of us, still don't. People aren't exactly keen on this.
- Without add-ons as we know them, Firefox basically turns into Opera on Webkit. And though they're killing add-ons as we know them first, a complete browser engine re-write is also on the way. "firefox why u so", indeed!
- With this, the author proves he can turn something as ho-hum as a relatively obscure invention into an epic tale that covers everything from original sin to the rise and fall of civilizations to the sad state of mankind's eternal economic Shangri-La. He's also - did I mention this - a great writer.
10,000 computers, exactly? You'll find this gem about our Library of Congress just passingly mentioned in the article about the LOC's failure to digitize most of the books in their possession. I searched Google for more on this little "misplacement" but the one link I found looks like just another passing mention was made in an article on LinkedIn.
I mean, can you imagine this?
THE CAST: you, your boss. THE SCENE: your place of work, early morn at your desk. You sit looking at your most recent Word document, which apparently converted itself into Swahili after you saved it last night. THE QUESTION: your boss looks at your screen, asks if you can speak Tswana as well as write it, then, without waiting on an answer, asks almost apologetically: "Um, have you seen the 10,000 computers that were here when we closed up last night?" He grips his cup of coffee in a seemingly relaxed manner and stares intently at his feet.
THE ANSWER: 0_o...
Of course, no one knows if anyone did anything to recover the computers, because this was not fated to become one the bigger grand larcenies a government body's ever experienced (and therefore, one of the more sensational news stories ever told); rather, this was destined to become just another throwaway line in a few obscure web articles, because who cares?
Whew. I mean, I thought something was wrong, but it turns out they're just missing 10,000 computers, that's all.
Considering the battle of the bulbs I've been waging, this looks promising: an incandescent bulb is on the horizon that recycles its own heat to save energy while shining in the same warm spectrum of light we've come to expect from old-fashioned bulbs.
This is good news because I stared at an LED bulb in my bedside table lamp last night (a complete accident; obviously, my mind was on other things) just for a second and for the next 10 minutes could not stop seeing a pale greyish-blue in the perimeter of my vision every time I looked at anything white. I thought for sure I'd burned my eyes. Luckily I'm sort of sunlight eye-burn resistant and I guess this held true for the LED burn I could've given myself, but I wouldn't want to push it.
A 2013 study suggests LED light can burn your eyes, but according to an engineer who I guess likes to debunk things, you'd need to stare at a "100-W-equivalent light bulb from four inches away for 12 hr" to achieve the same effect. So am I supposed to merely accept having blue perimeter vision every time I accidentally stare at an LED bulb*?
The MIT bulb is more efficient than LED or fluorescent and costs even less to run. I can only wish they were already on the market.
*"[The study author] suggests wearing good-quality sunglasses with UV filters, and eating a diet rich in vitamin A to protect the eyes from retinal damage." Sure, let me break out the sunglasses to wear around my house, right away. And Vitamin A is practically poisonous to smokers.
Also, re: the first outbound link, I just love love loooooooove how Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. He did that. Except he didn't, yet the link still falsely credits him for the invention. Others got there first, and while Edison was still fine-tuning his own bulb, Adolphe Chaillet created the Shelby bulb, which might outlive everyone reading; it's still burning form the day it was first switched on - almost 112 years ago. Nope, not a typo. General Electric bought Chaillet's company out and discontinued the bulb because you can't make a profit on something that outlives your clientele, and while you can make a profit on something that doesn't, it's always wise to reduce its lifespan to make even more money. Of course!
I'm not a big TV viewer. I stopped watching altogether before 9-11, then watched through 9-11 and a small plane hitting some building in Queens or Brooklyn a month or so later (suspected, of course, as terrorism, which it turned out not to be) and didn't turn the TV back on until my mom convinced me to watch The Good Wife around 2008-2009. It took a lot of convincing. I spent not weeks but months asking her why she was so gung-ho about it and why I should watch. It meant breaking my TV embargo so it was really important that I not do so to watch fluff.
Of course, I gave in and began watching (though not regularly until 2010) but I still didn't turn the TV on for anything besides. In the years since she's passed I've lived with nothing but heavy TV watchers, so running across TV has become inevitable and hard to avoid without deliberately sequestering myself night and day away from whichever TV is on.
That said, if I'm in, say, the kitchen, and the TV's on in the living room, and I happen to hear something interesting (open floor plan here), I might pause for a minute to go look (because yes, once an embargo, always an embargo; The Good Wife ended this spring so I have no reason to ever watch TV again). Which happened last night; from the kitchen I heard one of the woman announcers on Entertainment Tonight say, "And Donald Trump" blah blah blah "convention" and shot out of the kitchen to watch. Well.
What is it with the media treating this guy like he's normal? The woman announced, while standing in front of a still picture of him that took up the whole screen, that he wants a star-studded convention and to really put on a show. She had a gigantic smile on her face as she delivered this bit of fluff and seemed to nod perceptibly in approval.
That was it. But in this one minute of fluff? There's so much to unpack.
The first thing that hit me is when he's addressed by name on televised media, no one prefaces it with, "the racist and misogynistic" or "the name-calling, bigoted and insulting" or "the fascist-leaning" or "the white nationalist loving Donald Trump" and I can't understand why? Is the media that afraid of his oh-libel-happy ways?
Emphasizing his negative characteristics - and if he's not one big walking bundle of negative characteristics, then he's nothing at all..."12th Amendment", anyone? And don't even give me "Obama's 52 states, anyone?" He was counting territories, for Christ's sake, and was probably just tired or he wouldn't have done that - can only improve television ratings. It would also do an invaluable service to the general public, you know, the ones who don't get on the internet except to call people like me liberal sleazebags? And give them some perspective on why Trump is not exactly everyone's favorite guy?
I'd say at least 10-20 million people get most of their news from TV, and maybe a small percentage (a million?) get it from hour-long fluff pieces like Entertainment Tonight. But what's so entertaining about normalizing Trump, unless the folks running televised media want him for president and are fluff-piecing him to death to drum(ph) up the vote? Nothing. They need to tell the truth and paint him in the light he's earned himself, one disgusting word out of his mouth at a time.
Normalizing him isn't right because he isn't normal - or nice, or honest. Normalizing him suggests to those who do know and disapprove of his background that he's A-OK. Having deeply fascist leanings and openly consorting with white nationalists on Twitter? A-OK. Hating blacks and Mexicans? A-OK. Barring Muslims from entering the country? A-OK. Water-boarding suspected enemies and killing their wives and children? A-OK. Everything he says and does? A-OK! This guy? Always passes!
By normalizing him, by not mentioning anything bad he's said or done, televised media tells us he passes. He passes for normal. Whatever he says or does, passes. This, let me remind you, is the same guy who can shoot and murder someone in broad daylight on 5th Ave in New York City and still "get supporters". (Of course: even Charles Manson has those!) But the way the media's treating him - not with kid gloves, but like he's someone else, altogether - it wouldn't surprise me if he did, only to catch the same woman on TV that night delivering yet another fluff piece on him with that same gigantic smile plastered across her face and those same sickening, perceptible nods of approval.
Because yeah, so he murdered. So what. Who fucking cares? On with the show! This is ENTERTAINMENT! Tonight.
In the meantime, here's some news that's not a fluff piece. I'm not presenting it with a gigantic smile plastered across my face, nor am I (perceptibly or otherwise) nodding in any kind of approval. Yes, I'm a liberal sleazebag, thank you.
Donald Trump’s Social Media Ties to White Supremacists and Donald Trump's Love Affair With White Supremacists - so, why aren't we hearing about this on TV? Huh?
For Trump, it's (white) America First, because Donald Trump Knows Anti-Semites And White Nationalists Are The Center Of His Play. How does he know? Why, because Trump backers are the most bigoted! There are studies to prove it. Congratulations, haters.
Trump declines invite to NAACP convention. Because disown David Duke or Twitter fascists, racists haters and trolls? Neeeever. Disown black people? In a heartbeat!
Trump Supporters Flooded Me With Anti-Semitic Taunts & Death Threats Yesterday, but hell yeah, let's normalize this guy, let's make him seem as good, as American as apple motherfucking pie. Congratulations definitely go to televised media for this.
"Is that Becky with the good hair?" I mean, she's got to be with us, somewhere.
Which reminds me (that's all I was going to write but I thought of something) Lemonade is a painful album to hear (and sometimes, to watch) - emotionally and on an artistic level, because I don't enjoy the songs on this album, at all - even if it does have this, "OK, maybe I won't go stomping out on yo' ass" half-assed, sort-of forgiving denouement, which I understand most people find uplifting and take to be a sign that Beyonce's brought the album to a close by deciding to overlook certain things. Okay.
I can't figure out if the album's autobiographical, and while I can't cop to caring, I don't like knowing anyone's been cheated on - least of all someone like her, since she hasn't had a lot of relationships to build up what I might call a "hard-ass" against any man's weaker moments. And while I'm tempted to say she has my sympathy if the album's indeed comprised of recent or current goings-on, I can't offer it freely knowing she's airing their dirty laundry while still married. I thought marriage (any tight, close relationship, really) should be a private institution? What happened to that?
I've often tried to put myself in her husband's shoes but I can't, and I know I can't, because if I were him (and if, I suppose, I'd cheated on her) and she could talk this much shit while we were still married I'd divorce her, or ask her to divorce me if she's that upset she feels she must air our private lives out in what I consider humiliating fashion. She's sort of boxed him in, because he can only do one of two things: admit what she's accusing him of or deny it and be called a liar (or actually be a liar: we don't know what went on, nor what's true or false; she might not know, either).
To his credit, he's chosen not to confirm or deny, but that takes a degree of self-control I'm not sure I could muster nor maintain for any length of time.
I've tried to put myself in her shoes, as well, because getting cheated on is like a thousand fires burning in your mind's eye and heart and soul at once, and while they do die down eventually (especially if you leave the person responsible) it can be a hard thing to bear. As a woman, I think the first thing that strikes most of us is "someone was better than me". They're not (or won't be, not in the long run) but that's for time to tell; for now, we feel like somehow we've been outdone.
But I've had no luck in her shoes, either, because if my husband cheated I'd leave his ass and save the album for after the divorce - not one word would come out before. Not because I'd be embarrassed - as the cheated-upon party, I'd have the moral high ground and can say from experience that boy, is it beautiful up there - I'd wait only to save face for the other person. I can imagine people all up in my comment section now saying, "Oh, screw saving his face, how about mine, being cheated on is awful" but that's not how I look at it.
The saying "revenge is best served cold" applies. If there's something wrong in your relationship, end it, then muckrake all you want. Until then, if you're going to stay together, at least act like you want to. Keep the problem(s) to yourselves/close friends/close family as much as possible or practical (or safe to do so; I am, I must be clear, not suggesting anyone in an abusive relationship stay mum - speak up when you must, tell the world - but cheating can happen both with or without other, separate forms of abuse going on).
Conjuring any real-world scenario imaginable - without dropping acid to stretch my mind beyond its current limits - I'm still stuck at: "I think I'd leave her for talking if I was the cheater", or else "I think I'd leave him for actually cheating", but I can't identify with her making this album, because I can't imagine making this album - not if I was in the relationship being described - which also cuts into any possible enjoyment I might have gotten out of it.
When, with every picture of "good hair" I try to evoke in my mind's eye, I can hear myself thinking, "I could not do this; I could not make an album like this, not while I was still married" what I wind up doing is getting upset that someone - anyone - could turn a heartbreaking situation, if it's indeed that, into stuff they can sell. "Oh, here's another album on Tidal. It happens to be about my husband knifing me up the back by seeing another woman. Enjoy!" That's just tacky. I don't see it helping, either, unless he gets off on someone with Beyonce's reach and power tattle-tailing every time he, uh, I don't know, farts sideways. What sort of relationship is that?
But you can't assume a word she says - or sings - is true. I wouldn't put it past her - super-duperstar, biggest of big deals - to make a deal with her husband after the equally tacky Solange swinging in an elevator business to sort of *wink-wink, nod-nod* stop giving interviews and once the silence went on long enough to stew the public in its own juices, to drop this album with his full blessing. After all the speculation they've endured it's a sure bet to make her - them, in fact - a lot of money. This album will keep their relationship - a now-separate entity that should probably be incorporated - in the press for a long time, which, if nothing else, guarantees some kind of baseline income for them well into their golden years.
Yes, I'm that cynical. You think Beyonce isn't? She might be delivering these songs from a place of tears and truth and hope unfurling like buds on a tender sapling deep within her sunshiney-bright ice-cold heart, but even if it's all made up the buzz it's caused will keep them rollin' in da Benjis far into their foreseeable future. Well done, if you ask me.
To be fair and balanced, I'll add there are other takes as to what the real situation is (if there is or ever was any). Some people think, for example, that Beyonce's singing about her father, who reportedly was a skirt chaser. I don't believe it, but I'll hold onto a shred of doubt; you never know. You can be cheated upon and have a dad who cheated. I did. These are not mutually exclusive occurrences. So which one of them are you going to write about? Both? Just one or the other? I wouldn't write an album about my dad. There's not enough material, for one thing. Revenge still tastes best served cold, for another - so cold, icicles might form around the universe before I say another word about it.